Just Labradors banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,193 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone here heard of or even read this book?

http://www.amazon.com/Weighing-Soul-Len-Fisher/dp/0297645552

It is about the evolution of scientific beleifs, and talks about the history of modern science, how it came to be, but more importantly all of the scientific experiments and hypotheses that failed miserably!

It is actually very refreshing and humorous. Great book so far...I just started reading it over the weekend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,193 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
That sounds like the kind of thing I would like. Right now I'm reading "Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness," by Alva Noë. Really interesting, and also a fairly easy read.

Haha! I read that as orgasmic! My mind is somewhere else apparently! :p

“As a neurologist, confronted every day by questions of mind, self, consciousness, and their basis, I find Alva Noë’s concepts—that consciousness is an organismic and not just a cerebral quality, that it is embodied in actions and not just isolated bits of brain—both astounding and convincing. Out of Our Heads is a book that should be read by everyone who thinks about thinking.”

Sounds like a great book! You wouldn't want to book swap when we are both done, would ya?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,129 Posts
I write in my books. And I no longer lend them, because I'm tired of not getting them back. (I still can't remember, and can't forgive, the person who didn't return "The Omnivore's Dilemma.") So no dice. :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,915 Posts
I write in my books. And I no longer lend them, because I'm tired of not getting them back. (I still can't remember, and can't forgive, the person who didn't return "The Omnivore's Dilemma.") So no dice. :p
I have a copy if you want it. I normally use a color-coded highlighting system, but for some reason there's writing all throughout my "The Omnivore's Dilemma" book. Odd.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,193 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I have a copy if you want it. I normally use a color-coded highlighting system, but for some reason there's writing all throughout my "The Omnivore's Dilemma" book. Odd.

Uh-oh! :rolleyes: Sounds like an all out war is about to begin!

Sure, I would be interested, but only if you want to do a swap of some sort. I would hate to have you pay for shipping and not get anything in return!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,193 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Sounds like my kind of reading material, thanks for the link:)
No prob!

Yeah, the title comes from the early experiments that many physicians conducted to weigh the soul of people when they died. It was actually really cool! The aurthor focuses on one physician in particular, McDougall, and his techniques, hypotheses, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,472 Posts
I recently sent 3 copies of "The Invention of Air" to two psychology classmates, life long friends, and to my niece -- all of them Unitarians. It's about Joseph Priestley who discovered oxygen (and other things), was a founder of the Unitarian church, and an influential friend of Franklin, Jefferson and, to a lesser extent, Adams and Washington.
I recently got a copy from our public library and read it. Fascinating book. I didn't realize that the giant ferns and trees, as well as the giant dinosaurs were made possible by a richer proportion of oxygen in the earth's atmosphere than we have now -- or that the deposits of coal formed by the death of the giant trees and ferns came about because the types of fungi and bacteria that eat dead vegetable matter had not yet evolved. Or Priestley's influence on religion and American politics. If you go to www.npr.org , you can look up and hear a half hour interview with the author that aired on Talk of the Nation/Science Friday a few months ago -- that's what got me interested.

Below is an Amazon review:



57 of 62 people found the following review helpful:
An Erudite Assessment of the Life, Times and Ideas of One Man, December 26, 2008
By Eric F. Facer "E. Facer"

Steven Johnson has written an engaging book about Joseph Priestley, a true Renaissance Man who contributed mightily to the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th Century. Priestley was a remarkable individual who distinguished himself in several different fields: theology, chemistry, science, politics, philosophy, history and technology. He was also a prolific writer who had the good fortune of hobnobbing with the best and the brightest of his day: Franklin, Lavoisier, Jefferson, Canton and Adams, to name just a few.

Johnson does an exceptional job of telling Priestley's story, explaining his scientific discoveries, political philosophies, and theological insights, and putting them all in their proper context. But he goes one step further: he endeavors to explain why Priestley accomplished what he did. He doesn't just focus on Priestley's character traits and native intelligence (both of which were extraordinary); rather, he attributes much of the man's success to his environment, to his friends, to the evolution of technology, and, quite simply, to good fortune. At a time when we are inundated with trendy books that pander to the public's appetite for facile explanations of complex processes (e.g., "Blink," "Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious," etc.), it is refreshing to see someone acknowledge that scientific discoveries, sociological insights and great ideas more often than not take years to evolve and are the product of numerous variables, many of which remain a mystery.

Priestley's enthusiasm, openness and child-like fascination with the world around him are infectious. Though he was not without shortcomings and, on occasion, got things completely wrong, Priestley was an intellectual giant upon whose shoulders many great scientists, philosophers and discoverers will continue to stand well into the 21st Century. And Mr. Johnson has rendered a valuable service by re-telling Mr. Priestley's story from a fresh and enlightening perspective. Highly recommended.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,193 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I recently sent 3 copies of "The Invention of Air" to two psychology classmates, life long friends, and to my niece -- all of them Unitarians. It's about Joseph Priestley who discovered oxygen (and other things), was a founder of the Unitarian church, and an influential friend of Franklin, Jefferson and, to a lesser extent, Adams and Washington.
I recently got a copy from our public library and read it. Fascinating book. I didn't realize that the giant ferns and trees, as well as the giant dinosaurs were made possible by a richer proportion of oxygen in the earth's atmosphere than we have now -- or that the deposits of coal formed by the death of the giant trees and ferns came about because the types of fungi and bacteria that eat dead vegetable matter had not yet evolved. Or Priestley's influence on religion and American politics. If you go to www.npr.org , you can look up and hear a half hour interview with the author that aired on Talk of the Nation/Science Friday a few months ago -- that's what got me interested.

Below is an Amazon review:



57 of 62 people found the following review helpful:
An Erudite Assessment of the Life, Times and Ideas of One Man, December 26, 2008
By Eric F. Facer "E. Facer"

Steven Johnson has written an engaging book about Joseph Priestley, a true Renaissance Man who contributed mightily to the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th Century. Priestley was a remarkable individual who distinguished himself in several different fields: theology, chemistry, science, politics, philosophy, history and technology. He was also a prolific writer who had the good fortune of hobnobbing with the best and the brightest of his day: Franklin, Lavoisier, Jefferson, Canton and Adams, to name just a few.

Johnson does an exceptional job of telling Priestley's story, explaining his scientific discoveries, political philosophies, and theological insights, and putting them all in their proper context. But he goes one step further: he endeavors to explain why Priestley accomplished what he did. He doesn't just focus on Priestley's character traits and native intelligence (both of which were extraordinary); rather, he attributes much of the man's success to his environment, to his friends, to the evolution of technology, and, quite simply, to good fortune. At a time when we are inundated with trendy books that pander to the public's appetite for facile explanations of complex processes (e.g., "Blink," "Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious," etc.), it is refreshing to see someone acknowledge that scientific discoveries, sociological insights and great ideas more often than not take years to evolve and are the product of numerous variables, many of which remain a mystery.

Priestley's enthusiasm, openness and child-like fascination with the world around him are infectious. Though he was not without shortcomings and, on occasion, got things completely wrong, Priestley was an intellectual giant upon whose shoulders many great scientists, philosophers and discoverers will continue to stand well into the 21st Century. And Mr. Johnson has rendered a valuable service by re-telling Mr. Priestley's story from a fresh and enlightening perspective. Highly recommended.
That looks like another interesting book that is right up my alley! I will have to look for that one at my local used book store as well.

I am trying to do as much leisurely reading as possible these days while I have the free time, and I love stimulating books! Thanks for the recommendation, Bob!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,257 Posts
I am reading The Essential Calvin and Hobbes.

For the third time.

Trying not to have my lips move this time......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,257 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,472 Posts
Cadey -- Whew! I thought, hoped, that would be true and that I wasn't highjacking the thread,

I searched NPR's archives and found the link to the program (Talk of the Nation/Science Friday) and the interview with the author about the book, "The Invention of Air" Hearing that propelled me into buying and sending the 3 copies to the 3 whom I thought would also appreciate it.

Reading it made me realize how much interesting stuff I wasn't taught in biology classes and evolution (no one made a point that the giant dinosaurs required richer mixtures of oxygen) or in American history the influence of people like Priestley and the comingling of Deism with those times.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98947092

 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top